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Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

49ers address D-line, O-line, cornerback in Chad Reuter’s 4-round mock draft

Mar 5, 2021 at 10:04 AM--

The San Francisco 49ers, a team in the Super Bowl just over a year ago, could be entering the 2021 NFL Draft with several needs to fill. The Niners finished the 2020 season with just six wins, mostly due to a roster devastated by injuries. Included among those injuries were pass rushers Nick Bosa and Dee Ford, who both exited the lineup for good by Week 2.

Bosa is coming off a torn ACL, while Ford's status remains a mystery.

The defensive back situation has to be a concern, too. The only starter who is signed is safety Jimmie Ward. Richard Sherman, Jason Verrett, K'Waun Williams, and Jaquiski Tartt are all scheduled to become unrestricted free agents.

Then you have the uncertainty at left tackle (and some would say right tackle, too). Veteran Trent Williams remains on course to hit free agency and will be in-demand on the open market.

NFL Media draft analyst Chad Reuter released his first mock draft of the year, and it's a monster. The projections go four rounds deep. What does he have San Francisco doing with its first four selections?

Reuter has the 49ers bolstering their pass rush with former Miami defensive end Gregory Rousseau at No. 12 overall.

"The 49ers' defensive line was decimated by injury in 2020 and will be hit hard again in free agency," wrote Reuter. "Picking the long and strong Rousseau would allow Arik Armstead to move back inside, where he can be more disruptive."

Rousseau (6-7, 265) recorded 54 tackles, 19.5 tackles for a loss, 15.5 sacks, a pass defensed, and two forced fumbles through 13 games in 2019. He opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns.

Reuter doesn't add comments to his projected selections beyond Round 1, but the strategy appears to address the concerns mentioned at the start of this article. The analyst has San Francisco drafting former Georgia cornerback Tyson Campbell (6-2, 185) at No. 43 overall in the second round, and then former San Diego State cornerback Darren Hall (6-0, 190) in the fourth round, a player the team met with at the Senior Bowl.

Those moves could address a position that looks to be decimated this offseason. But what about the offensive tackle position?

Reuter also makes a selection for San Francisco in Round 3, based on an expected compensatory selection issued for Robert Saleh's hiring by the New York Jets. The analyst has the 49ers adding former Stanford offensive tackle Walker Little (6-7, 320) with that selection, which he lists at No. 103 overall.


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